GCI Update

Empathy

In this Update, GCI President Greg Williams talks about stepping outside of our own experiences to empathize with others, considering the needs of those around us, and the ways in which we can help them. He also offers a glimpse into 2021 with exciting news regarding our newly rescheduled Denominational Celebration.

Prayer Request for Barbara Rogers

Dan and Barbara Rogers
Dan & Barbara Rogers

Please continue to pray for Barbara Rogers.  She remains in very serious condition.  She is in tremendous pain and has difficulty breathing.

She is allowed no visitors.  Please also pray for Dan and his three children.

GCI 2021 Denominational Celebration

Save the Dates!

Click the image above for more information.

Reuel Enerio & Lucellie Santibañez Engaged to be Married

portrait of reuel and lucelliephoto of reuel and lucellie as children playing gamesThese two first met at the age of 5, while attending church festivals in their home nation, the Philippines. After becoming friends, they kept in touch remotely and were able to see each other at GCI camps and functions over the years where they remained close friends. In the last 3 years, they both moved to the USA separately and were able to reconnect, sparking a relationship earlier this year. Reuel works for GCI at the Home Office, and Lucellie is completing her Master of Music Therapy Equivalency program in Texas. They were engaged Thursday, June 18th in Charlotte, NC. They plan to announce a wedding date in the near future.

 

Additional Stories

Please email update@gci.org with news, updates, and prayer requests from your local congregation or community to include in the GCI Update. The more we work together, the healthier a church we’ll be.

Sought AND Restored

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

Luke 15:1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”  3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

The story of the lost sheep is one of the most beloved of Jesus’ parables.  How encouraging to hear, as a sinner in need of continual repentance, that God pursued you while you were still lost.  Surely, you delight in the thought that God chases after you.

God’s movement toward you is profoundly personal.  God was delighted to choose you before the creation of the world and embrace you into the life of the Father, Son, and Spirit. And based on this parable, it is correct for you to perceive yourselves as being sought after individually by God.  Yet what if your only gaze for this parable is on God’s pursuit of you? Could you be missing part of the beautiful imagery and meaning?  What gets lost when you are focused solely on your own salvation?

In the metaphorical language of Luke 15, to be rescued from wandering, to be saved from individual lostness is only the Shepherd’s first salvific action.  The story is incomplete without the Shepherd restoring the lamb to the other ninety-nine.  This is so important! We have all been gathered back, not just back into union with God but back into fellowship with one another. It is within this context of a community, a holy people, that we participate in the mystery of God’s renewal and we experience being conformed to Jesus’ image.

Dear one, be encouraged that your story does not end at Jesus saving you from your personal sin and private darkness.  That was just the beginning!  You were made for so much more than to merely be saved from something.  You were saved for true life and flourishing in communion with the Triune God and with your sisters and brothers.

Prayer: Father, Son, and Spirit, open our eyes to the wonder and hope that we belong to one another.  Plant it in our imaginations, to be expressed in our creativity, and to be lived in our bodies.  Thank you for the privilege of participating with your eternal, loving purposes through your Body.

 

portrait of elizabeth mullins

 

By Elizabeth Mullins